This post is a continuation of last week’s article, “Be Ye Reconciled to God, Part I.”
Another word that I find beautiful and applicable to “Be ye reconciled to God is metanoia.
Metanoia—a change of heart based on a religious conversion
Wouldn’t you agree? Isn’t this a magnificent word?!
And isn’t a change of heart exactly what we need to direct our feet towards the plan of salvation in this life? Remember, “…men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25, emphasis added). The might means that we must consciously choose to use our agency to propel ourselves towards eternal life. It isn’t something that will just fall into our laps. Yes, Christ died for everyone’s sins, and we will all receive eternal life as part of the reward for his sacrifice, but Ether 12:27 reveals an important element of justification:
“…my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong unto them.”
In order to have a true change of heart, a true metanoia, each of us must seek to humble ourselves before Christ if we hope to receive his grace. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
That is what we strive for when we experience a metanoia: to become a new creature in Christ and to put off the natural man. Because of Adam’s fall, a veil was placed between us and knowledge, rendering us as “natural men” given to natural appetites. Going back to our original word of the day—reconcile—as we now understand it, means to bring back together.
Therefore, in order to find our way back to God and to experience joy, we need to figure out a way to put off the natural man and to change who we are. That change has to be motivated by something—something strong and powerful enough to cause us to change our way of life and experience metanoia.
That something should be our faith in Christ; faith strong enough to move us toward the path of salvation.
Faith strong enough to cause us to emulate our older brother by preforming propitiation ourselves—sacrificing our natural man so that we may be reborn as a new creature in Christ.
That’s what a metanoia is—a massive shift in paradigm and a massive desire to change one’s heart, founded on the belief that Christ really did do all the things He said He would do for us, namely reconciling us with our Heavenly Father.
“Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him…” (Mosiah 18:10)
And what is baptism if not a symbolic act of sacrifice and rebirth?
A propitiation—a sacrifice that restores harmony between us and God.
Indeed, we really do become a new creature as Paul promised, and our old self becomes new in Christ. Once we’ve taken this step, we have placed ourselves back on the path towards reconciliation with our Heavenly Father, with the added gift of the Holy Ghost. As we stay close to Heavenly Father’s plan for us and follow Christ’s example relying on the spirit, we can be sure that one day we too can experience reconcilio with our heavenly parents.
Words! Words! Words!
How I love words!
Words give us a means to express ourselves, to impart knowledge, and to gain understanding. They give us the opportunity to read the words of joy shared in the scriptures and from beloved latter-day prophets. They give voice to impressions of the Spirit.
Through our study today, we have learned that even the smallest word can pack a huge hidden meaning—joy!
We have learned that picking apart a verse word by word can provide a whole new understanding of the gospel.
We have learned the synonyms can take a familiar term and inspire it with new light and depth.
But most importantly, we have learned that taking a closer look at the plan of salvation through focusing on specific terms used in the original translations of the Bible can strengthen our testimony of Christ.
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (Article of Faith 8).
I have deep gratitude for the Come, Follow Me program. I have the opportunity to be a gospel doctrine teacher, and as I have studied more closely the words of Christ and the early prophets, my testimony of the New Testament has grown a hundredfold. It really is the word of God if it is read correctly (and hand in hand with the Book of Mormon). I am without a doubt that the apostles of the New Testament knew and understood the plan of salvation—the good news and the gospel of Jesus Christ—just as we do today as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I leave this humble testimony with you, dear reader, with a request that you read the scriptures more closely, looking at the words one by one, and seeking for the power of their original intent.
Jessica Clark is a wife, mom, writer, runner, knitter, and proud Canadian. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Anthropology, and has been a student of people and cultures ever since. Right now she is busy studying the behavior and cultures of the people of Texas.